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Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:22 AM

Public School Teachers and Administrators: How should we fire them?

It is a difficult argument to make that every teacher in every public school is a teacher that performs at an acceptable level. Some should find other professions. The limited number that are bad and kept is what the media picks up on. I don't think this is a huge problem with public education but it is a small one that the conservative media makes huge, at least to some in the public.

With that thought in mind, how should a teacher or administrator face losing his/her job for job performance issues? How long should the process take? What steps should be in there? What system of appeals should be there?

As one example of a system that has a system of firing that doesn't work, I would suggest the LA School district. Below is an article detailing some of the problems that the LA times found.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/03/local/me-teachers3


Firing teachers can be a costly and tortuous task

...It's remarkably difficult to fire a tenured public school teacher in California, a Times investigation has found. The path can be laborious and labyrinthine, in some cases involving years of investigation, union grievances, administrative appeals, court challenges and re-hearings.

Not only is the process arduous, but some districts are particularly unsuccessful in navigating its complexities. The Los Angeles Unified School District sees the majority of its appealed dismissals overturned, and its administrators are far less likely even to try firing a tenured teacher than those in other districts.

The Times reviewed every case on record in the last 15 years in which a tenured employee was fired by a California school district and formally contested the decision before a review commission: 159 in all (not including about two dozen in which the records were destroyed). The newspaper also examined court and school district records and interviewed scores of people, including principals, teachers, union officials, district administrators, parents and students.

Among the findings:

* Building a case for dismissal is so time-consuming, costly and draining for principals and administrators that many say they don't make the effort except in the most egregious cases. The vast majority of firings stem from blatant misconduct, including sexual abuse, other immoral or illegal behavior, insubordination or repeated violation of rules such as showing up on time.

* Although districts generally press ahead with only the strongest cases, even these get knocked down more than a third of the time by the specially convened review panels, which have the discretion to restore teachers' jobs even when grounds for dismissal are proved.

* Jettisoning a teacher solely because he or she can't teach is rare. In 80% of the dismissals that were upheld, classroom performance was not even a factor.

When teaching is at issue, years of effort -- and thousands of dollars -- sometimes go into rehabilitating the teacher as students suffer. Over the three years before he was fired, one struggling math teacher in Stockton was observed 13 times by school officials, failed three year-end evaluations, was offered a more desirable assignment and joined a mentoring program as most of his ninth-grade students flunked his courses.

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Reply Public School Teachers and Administrators: How should we fire them? (Original post)
BrentWil Feb 2012 OP
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #1
BrentWil Feb 2012 #2
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #7
BrentWil Feb 2012 #18
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #25
BrentWil Feb 2012 #29
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #32
BrentWil Feb 2012 #41
Fumesucker Feb 2012 #45
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #49
BrentWil Feb 2012 #53
Fumesucker Feb 2012 #57
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #50
BrentWil Feb 2012 #58
1monster Feb 2012 #68
BrentWil Feb 2012 #70
Yupster Feb 2012 #92
BrentWil Feb 2012 #94
1monster Feb 2012 #105
1monster Feb 2012 #51
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #52
BrentWil Feb 2012 #61
1monster Feb 2012 #67
Hugabear Feb 2012 #3
trumad Feb 2012 #4
Hugabear Feb 2012 #26
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #5
BrentWil Feb 2012 #9
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #14
BrentWil Feb 2012 #23
liberalhistorian Feb 2012 #89
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #98
liberalhistorian Feb 2012 #99
joeglow3 Feb 2012 #100
MadHound Feb 2012 #6
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #11
MadHound Feb 2012 #19
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #24
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 #71
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #96
RebelOne Feb 2012 #95
BrentWil Feb 2012 #12
MadHound Feb 2012 #21
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #27
BrentWil Feb 2012 #31
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #33
BrentWil Feb 2012 #37
liberalhistorian Feb 2012 #91
slackmaster Feb 2012 #8
trumad Feb 2012 #10
slackmaster Feb 2012 #56
trumad Feb 2012 #65
slackmaster Feb 2012 #69
Snake Alchemist Feb 2012 #13
msanthrope Feb 2012 #102
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #15
BrentWil Feb 2012 #22
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #30
BrentWil Feb 2012 #34
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #59
BrentWil Feb 2012 #63
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #76
BrentWil Feb 2012 #81
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #86
BrentWil Feb 2012 #87
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #88
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #90
ProSense Feb 2012 #16
BrentWil Feb 2012 #20
ProSense Feb 2012 #28
BrentWil Feb 2012 #35
ProSense Feb 2012 #43
JSnuffy Feb 2012 #17
Terry_M Feb 2012 #36
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #38
BrentWil Feb 2012 #39
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #44
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #75
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #79
L. Coyote Feb 2012 #40
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #42
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #48
BrentWil Feb 2012 #55
ProSense Feb 2012 #47
BrentWil Feb 2012 #54
L. Coyote Feb 2012 #62
L. Coyote Feb 2012 #46
BrentWil Feb 2012 #60
L. Coyote Feb 2012 #64
Karmadillo Feb 2012 #66
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2012 #72
saras Feb 2012 #73
BrentWil Feb 2012 #74
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #80
Igel Feb 2012 #77
ibegurpard Feb 2012 #82
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2012 #97
Chorophyll Feb 2012 #104
Major Nikon Feb 2012 #78
BrentWil Feb 2012 #83
Major Nikon Feb 2012 #85
bluestate10 Feb 2012 #84
MichiganVote Feb 2012 #93
LanternWaste Feb 2012 #101
Chorophyll Feb 2012 #103
Are_grits_groceries Feb 2012 #106

Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:32 AM

1. "Always see news stories" and "teachers being kept despite bad performance,etc"

It is a difficult question to answer when you begin to pose the question in that manner.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:34 AM

2. The point isn't the what they say.. it is asking what the actual process SHOULD be... NT

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:46 AM

7. A process is only as good as those who actually follow it. Think there are a lot of bad apples?

Then follow the plan. Any plan. Sorry, most administrators are either too busy handling the scores of maladjusted kids in the school today or they are just incompetent.

Need I mention that they are paid more?

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:54 AM

18. Complex processes take time to go through...

Would the world come to an end if the administrator had the power to hire/fire like GOOGLE or other companies?

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:01 AM

25. Google and other companies can't just hire/fire at the drop of a hat

they open themselves to all kinds of lawsuits. Any private sector company has procedures in place that they follow to protect themselves from liability before they fire someone. And you think teachers should be an exception to this policy why?

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:06 AM

29. Certainly they do..

But far less then a public school. They have procedures but the complexity is not there. I am suggesting that we make the plan less complex and the labor force more flexible to meet the demands. I would also suggest the ability to pay teachers more, at least for some teachers.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:14 AM

32. Those companies all have performance review processes too. They are also for profit enterprises.

Not a fair comparison.

In addition, I'm not aware that the workers in those companies have 25 to 30 kids to teach on a daily basis each of whom is an individual with variable needs, moods, capabilities and so on. Most companies are about optimizing their work environments to improve productivity. School districts throughout the nation are very short on funds to upgrade just about anything. Buying a school bus is a major expense let alone purchasing expensive curricula, computers, and the other accoutrements of a learning environment.

Companies such as GOOGLE buy the equivalent of school buses on an hourly basis.

edit/spelling

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:28 AM

41. I am sure someone at Google manages 25 to 30 people

"on a daily basis each of whom is an individual with variable needs, moods, capabilities and so on." Because a job is different doesn't mean there it is not fair to compare labor practices.

I would suggest more freedom for the local administrator to both pay more to good teacher and make it easier to get rid of bad ones.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:33 AM

45. But that's not necessarily what will happen..

You've never personally run into a situation where a less competent individual is promoted/retained over a more competent one because they were better at playing the system/schmoozing?



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:36 AM

49. or just taller or better looking. nt

 

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:43 AM

53. Certainly...

Nothing ever works for the everyone. The best one can hope for is a system that works best for as many students as possible.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #53)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:56 AM

57. I didn't notice a mention of students in your OP..

Perhaps you edited students out at some point, I didn't bother to check.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:39 AM

50. I said "kids". Been a room full of 25-30 kids daily recently? No, you haven't. Nuff' said.

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:57 AM

58. Not being a teacher doesn't stop me from commenting on labor practices..

Just as not being a doctor doesn't stop me from commenting on health care policy or not holding public office doesn't stop me on discussion campaign finance law. Every profession deals with the public and is open to questioning.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #58)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:38 AM

68. How about you tell us what you perceive the problems are and then propose

your ideas for fixing them?

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Response to 1monster (Reply #68)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:43 AM

70. None flexibility for hiring/pay issues and also firing issues...

I would have local boards hire one well qualified administrator. I would have the local board review his job performance. However, other then that I would give him full authority to set standards of hiring/pay and firing issues. Good teachers should get paid more and bad teachers should be let go. Putting this responsiablity in the hands of one well qualified person is the means to do that.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #68)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 08:00 PM

92. I was a public school teacher for nine years (9th grade mostly)

I was one of six teachers in my department. During the entire nine year period (1981-1990) there was at least one horrible (IMO)teacher. At one point there were three.

Here's how each was handled.

One man was supposedly a very good coach for very many years but by the time I met him he had quit coaching but was still teaching in the classroom. As far as I could tell, he made very little effort to teach any subject matter. He pretty much showed films every day. The administration waited for him to retire after I taught with him for three years.

One woman was just what I'd call flighty. She was completely disorganized and frazzled. The way the administration handled her was they gave her six different classrooms to commute among, and a cart to put all her stuff on. She also tended to get the worst kids. I think they were just making her life so difficult that she would quit. She did.

One woman was/still is one of the nicest people I've ever met. She was just not a good teacher. She taught a different subject than I did and every year her students did very poorly on the end of the year test. The way the administration handled her was to transfer her into my department since we didn't have an end of year test. The result was she was still a poor teacher, but now also had no knowledge of the subject matter. She taught for another 15 years.

One man was IMO mentally unbalanced. He liked to play tricks on his students. He would tell them they could bring notes on 5x8 index cards to their tests. Then on test day, he ripped up the more standard 4x7 index cards that most of the kids brought. He wouldn't collect textbooks until the day of the final exam. Then he kept the kids who forgot theirs until Saturday and wouldn't let them take their finals until they turned in their books. This man was transferred to a different school. I think he ended up teaching driver's ed.

Your aggressive attitude of attacking people who you think are criticizing teachers is not appropriate. Everyone who has taught has seen excellent teachers, average teachers and terrible teachers, just the same as coal miners, insurance adjusters, and marine colonels. Since taxpayers pay teachers their salaries, taxpayers certainly have a right to their opinions.

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Response to Yupster (Reply #92)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:40 PM

94. Thanks for the post. Very good and I do think it shows some of the problems with the system.

How would you suggest we create the best system to hire and retain good teachers and to train or, if needed, fire bad ones.

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Response to Yupster (Reply #92)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 04:16 PM

105. Huh?

Your aggressive attitude of attacking people who you think are criticizing teachers is not appropriate. Everyone who has taught has seen excellent teachers, average teachers and terrible teachers, just the same as coal miners, insurance adjusters, and marine colonels. Since taxpayers pay teachers their salaries, taxpayers certainly have a right to their opinions.


I'm being aggressive and attacking by this?
How about you tell us what you perceive the problems are and then propose your ideas for fixing them?
It's okay to keep insisting that we need new and better ways to fire teachers, but not to ask what the perceived problems are?

Sound like you taught in a very poorly administered school. I am lucky enough to work in a school district where poor teachers are very rare and don't last long. But then, there are 1,000 applicants for every teaching vacancy. And when there was a teacher who was having problems, I've seen other teachers menter that teacher.



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Response to BrentWil (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:40 AM

51. Twenty-five to thirty school children on a daily basis is only true in elementary school.

Middle, Junior, and High School teachers all have about 150 to 180 students to deal with on a daily basis.

In my experience as a substitute teacher, there are very few bad teachers and they are dealt with very efficiently. There are a few mediocre teachers who perform well enough. Most are good to great teachers.

There are standards in place which are followed and bad teachers don't last as long as so many people have been led to believe.

As for principals and assistant principals, in our school district, they are given one or two year contracts. If they don't work out, they are transferred to another department with another job or they are simply not renewed.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:41 AM

52. +1

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Response to 1monster (Reply #51)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:08 AM

61. I would say that would vary from district to district...

There are some excellent districts out there. However, the question is, what is the process and practices that make a good district good and a bad district bad.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #61)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:36 AM

67. A committment on the part of the School Board all the way down to the the food

servers and custodians to excellence in education, always remembering that each child is different and learns differently, truly caring about the students and wanting the best for and of the students, and following through on that committment.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:38 AM

3. I like how you preface your argument with "we always see news stories" about bad teachers

Very telling

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:39 AM

4. I don't "always" see news stories about how we keep bad teachers...

unless I accidentally click on Fox news.

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Response to trumad (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:03 AM

26. or Drudge...

or right-wing radio...

Hmmm...seems to be a pattern there

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:44 AM

5. Have you done some investigation on your own?

Talked to your local school board to see what process is already in place (because I can assure you there IS one) for teacher evaluations?
Somehow I doubt it...

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:50 AM

9. Absolutely...

My mother spent her how career as a public school teacher and my father was a teacher and in administration for his whole career. Both worked in Nash County school systems in North Carolina. Retired last year.

Currently, the system involves teacher reviews, improvement plans, more reviews, a suggestion to the board and then a firing. Tenure also plays an important role.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:53 AM

14. well, sounds like you have your answer then

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:59 AM

23. The point of the thread wasn't how it is done now...

It was HOW it SHOULD be done.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:26 PM

89. Tenure saved my very-well-qualified

very-competent stepfather's ass a couple times during his career. He had students who didn't do the damn work and who, thus, got the grades they deserved, which was failing. What they also had were noisy parents, some of whom were prominent in the community and didn't like their little darlings getting the grades they deserved. Consequently, they were after his ass. Without tenure, he would have been fired for little reason, despite the fact that he was doing his job.

Teaching is different from other businesses, it should not even be run as a business because, unlike businesses, schools must take ALL students regardless of disability or ability or situation, they cannot throw "defective products" back. Without tenure and complex hiring/firing procedures, teachers can be summarily fired if a parent gets mad at an EARNED grade or if they or an administrator just doesn't like the teacher regardless of how good a job they're doing. My parents began their teaching careers before unions and tenure, they saw it happen all the time.

And the reason you see "all these stories", as you claim, is because, first, you're probably looking for them in your zeal to tear down teachers, and, second, the media is on the destroy-public-education-teachers-are-the-devil bandwagon and are happily joining in on the demonizing, scapegoating and demoralizing of teachers, most of whom do a damned good job in the face of often-overwhelming odds and circumstances. Particularly when they're blamed for factors over which they have no control, such as whether or not their students have parents who promote education and make them do their homework, their family life and abuse/neglect issues, etc., etc., etc. Keep it up. Another five-ten years or so and no one will even want to consider going into teaching. Already, huge numbers of them are retiring early or leaving the profession and who the hell can blame them?

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #89)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:30 PM

98. Tenure cost my good friend his job

He was 3 years out of college, was teacher of the year at his school twice and was district-wide teacher of year one of those (his third). When they had layoffs that next summer, he was canned because they had a "last hired, first fired" policy. I fail to see how that is good for schools and students.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #98)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 12:14 AM

99. Because generally those who are there longer

are more experienced and better at what they do because of it. Not always, but generally. And what's happening now is that a lot of long-term, experienced, competent teachers, some of whom also received teacher of the year or similar recognition, are being laid off or let go in favor of younger, less experienced teachers because they can be paid less.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #99)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 12:39 AM

100. Generally doesn't mean always.

Why have a 100% policy that we know is not best 100% of the time?

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:44 AM

6. Rather than focusing on getting rid of bad teachers,

 

How about focusing on attracting the best and brightest to the profession. After, according to the general consensus, teaching is one of the vital professions in our society, ranking right up there with doctors. Yet we pay teachers like babysitters, and in the process we lose most of the best and brightest. I've personally known several excellent students who wanted to teach, who would have made great teachers, but they took one look at the student debt they were racking up, and the starting pay for teaching, and decided to go into another, more profitable area.

This happens with veteran teachers as well. They put their twenty years in, and looking ahead, decide to take their experience into another career, one that pays better.

So if teachers are as important as doctors, why not start paying them like doctors? That's what the top education systems in the world do. Not only do they pay their teachers the same rate as doctors, but they accord teachers the same respect as we do to doctors. As non-doctors, we would not think of jogging a surgeons elbow, thinking that we knew a better technique. Yet somehow lots of people, despite not being teachers, think that they are education experts and many are actually put in charge of education systems. What a ridiculous way to run an education system. Sorry, I don't think that a welder, despite being elected to the school board, is qualified to make decisions regarding education. So why don't we let actual educators make the decisions regarding education. After all, they are the experts.

Make these changes, and I guarantee you that the problem of bad teachers will take care of itself.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:51 AM

11. if the same amount of education is required than I see

 

No problem with that.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:55 AM

19. What are "the same amount of it's"?

 

If you are referring to teacher education, let me assure you, teachers are required to be educated. Most teacher education programs are much longer, hours wise, than any other major, including pre-med. Most teachers have to get their degree over five years due to the large course load.

After they graduate, they are required to, within four years, start on their master's degree, more long hours. Then there is ongoing professional education and development.

Is that enough "it's" for you?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:01 AM

24. as soon as they have 4 years of college, 4 years of education school

 

And a low paying residency for 3 years then they can expect the huge salaries.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 12:09 PM

71. I have all of that, but 5 years of a low paying residency.

Can I have a doctor's salary now?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #71)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:01 PM

96. There would have to be some sort of board certification program and something akin to the MCATs

 

I suppose. When I got out of my first stint of college a million years ago I was amazed how easy it was to become a teacher. I was offered several opportunities to take a position laterally. I didn't even have to have a degree in education or the subject I taught! I seriously thought about it and probably would have if I hadn't pursued further education.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:51 PM

95. Teachers never can expect huge salaries.

My daughter was a teacher at a public school, and is now teaching at a charter school. She is working on earning her masters degree. But once she has her degree, her salary will only be $3,000 more a year.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:52 AM

12. Well, because I didn't start a thread on that...

But it is highly important subject. However, there certainly should be system to retain and hire good teachers. No question.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:57 AM

21. You started a thread on how to get rid of bad teachers,

 

I gave you the best solution to that problem out there. Discuss.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:05 AM

27. I'd be curious to see OPs definition of "bad teachers" as well

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:13 AM

31. It is rather subjective... I think that is best kept to local systems..

The majority of local schools (the administration, the teachers peers) know who the bad teachers are who don't care.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:14 AM

33. As are the processes ALREADY IN PLACE

to deal with "bad teachers."
Problem solved...move along.

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:20 AM

37. Certainly...

That doesn't meet the point of the thread. The point is a discussion of the ideal process to deal with it. The processes already in place might be a starting point or one might argue that the processes are ideal. However, stating that they are ALREADY IN PLACE" doesn't answer the question.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:29 PM

91. Yeah, but he's not interested in that. He's only interested

in demonizing and scapegoating teachers.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:48 AM

8. I lean toward treating them the same way as IT professionals who are terminated for job performance

 

Shut down all of their computer access, make them turn in security badges and any other school property, then frog-march them out of the building.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:51 AM

10. IE: just humiliate the fuck out of them eh?

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Response to trumad (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:55 AM

56. No. Eject them from the premises before they have a chance to do any more harm.

 

It's for the children.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:14 AM

65. Frog March?

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Response to trumad (Reply #65)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:39 AM

69. I give you the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band in action

 

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:53 AM

13. if you make your class write Valentines to your

 

Jailed pedo boyfriend then you should not finish the day.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:29 PM

102. Nor should you be on paid leave while it takes years to fire you.....nt

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:54 AM

15. "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers. "

-- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow.

Riiiight. So THAT's what's wrong w. public education. Bad teachers.


"I don't think this is a huge problem with public education but it is a small one that the media makes huge." And you even see that yourself .

So... why are we discussing this and not.... well, privatization, middle class abandonment of urban districts, traditional $$$ school corruption issues --- all of which are exacerbated by the current corporate school "reform" movement, cluelessness ( lack of familiarity w. public school education both as providers and consumers) of the overwhelming majority of people who are actually shaping ed policy ( Beginning with President Punahou-Sidwell Friends on down.) ?


But OK. First off, you do realize that 50% of new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years, yes? So... for the other half, there are already procedures in place, at least in all the districts I know of. For instance, in the right to work states ( the old 'cotton curtain", Bible Belt states) the procedure is "go clean out your desk and get lost" ( assuming they HAD a desk).

In the places the reformer$ have not gotten to yet, ( where there is still a unionized workforce, collective bargaining, etc.) there are annual performance reviews, two of which, if they are negative, can and usually do result in termination.

Negative reviews are effectively unappealable ( in NYC, 99.6% of negative rating appeals are rubberstamp-approved by the "paid by the school system " "hearing officer.")

At that point one can take it to court at one's own expense and face the probability of losing anyway. (Courts take the position that school systems can run their systems as they see fit.)


What would be BETTER? Probably independent classroom evaluators ( not building administrators ) if there was a way to keep that
arrangement from being corrupted by big $$$.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:58 AM

22. Did I ever say in my OP that is what is wrong with public schools?

However hiring and retaining good teachers and getting rid of bad ones is certainly part of it.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:08 AM

30. Not sure. You've edited it six times so far so I'm not sure what you may have said.

Not that I'm against editing.

But I think it's fair to speculate that your desire ... at least in large part....is likely to advance an idea or ideas that if implemented will result in the betterment of public education.

(You'll correct me if I'm wrong.)

If so... it's a fair question but seems like an odd place to start.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:15 AM

34. Yes, the betterment of education is my point...

and I did the thread because it is an unpopular subject here. I agree, it is about getting good teachers. However, some of it is also about getting rid of bad ones. That is unpopular here, so that is why I started the thread.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

59. Hiring and retaining good teachers is a HUGE part of it.

Last edited Sun Feb 26, 2012, 01:59 PM - Edit history (1)

>>>However hiring and retaining good teachers and getting rid of bad ones is certainly part of it.>>>>>

Getting rid of bad ones is important also, but there's no point in getting rid of 'em if we're doing nothing about retaining the "good" ones, no? Otherwise we'll just be replacing good ones w. "bad" ones.

What I see now is good teachers w. a few years in (5-7 ) leaving or making plans to leave the profession as they begin to see the writing on the wall ( to wit: "do not think of this as a career... i.e. w. pay raises, medical benefits, collective bargaining, pension.... because we are "reforming" you out of all that.") They don't have that much time invested and can still satrt over in a more ... shall we say... appreciated career. The teachers that are really in the bind are the ones ... 10-20 years in ....for whom it's too late to go back and for whom there is no retirement light at the end of the tunnel.

"Getting rid of bad ones" is a relatively simple matter. They're fewer in # ( Really! They are! People, as a general rule, don't want to keep working at something that they are no good at.) And there are mechanisms in place for observation, evaluation and discipline. At least there are in every system I've ever heard of.

Re. "Bad" Administrators: A better question here, it seems to me, would be "How do we get the RIGHT people to go into ADMINISTRATION for the RIGHT reasons? As it is now... from my particular vantage point... it appears that *most* admins leave the classroom 'cause admins get to come and go as they please ( mostly "go"), get to be "the boss" while wielding power and dispensing and withholding favors to and from the "little people".

This don't exactly add-up to be a blueprint for a healthy educational environment. But the reformer$$ are counting on the middle-level management ( school admins) to do the dirty work of destroying the teachers unions, pensions and benefits. So "administrator reform" is of course not on the media agenda and won't be until the dirty work is done.

Then......

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #59)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:12 AM

63. Thanks for the answer...

Retaining good teachers is a bigger issue, IMHO.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #63)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:03 PM

76. Any ideas about how to go about doing this?

Would *you* be inclined, if you were they, to allow yourself to be *retained*....... given the current climate of " How to get rid of teachers.?"

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #76)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:35 PM

81. As I said, I think any board of education should have one job..

To hire ONE administrator. He would submit a budget and have full authority over how much money any teacher makes and the ability to get rid of bad performers. I think that sort of flexibility would allow needed pay for good teachers and the ability to get rid of bad ones.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #81)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 05:44 PM

86. We effectively HAVE exactly that. It's called "mayoral control". Lots of urban districts have it.

It's an absolute, unqualified, unalloyed, total and complete disaster.

Relatedly..... ummmmmm..... what's a "bad performer"?

What makes you think that .... ummmmm.... "good" teachers are going to work w/o any kind of due process protection against this ....ahem.... "flexibility".


It seems like I gave you too much credit earlier.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:03 PM

87. I disagree that it has been a "disaster"...

Where it has happened, it has happened in very bad school districts. In those districts, you need to give it 10 to 20 years to really evaluate it.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #87)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:24 PM

88. Come on. It's Cathie Black. For god sakes.

Cathie *Fucking* Black.

Look her up if you don't know who she is. That's your "flexibility."

NAEP scores under Bloomberg are flat after 10 years. *Flat*

I both work in and have a child in this system. We don't HAVE 20 years to spare.

Thank ypu and good bye.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #87)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 06:28 PM

90. Come on. It's Cathie Black. For god sakes.

Cathie *Fucking* Black.

Look her up if you don't know who she is. That's your "flexibility."

NAEP scores under Bloomberg are flat after 10 years. *Flat*

I both work in and have a child in this system. We don't HAVE 20 years to spare.

Thank you and good bye.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:54 AM

16. Who

"Public School Teachers and Administrators: How should we fire them?"

...is "we"? You want DU to define a standard (likely a federal one) for firing teachers?

Why?



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Response to ProSense (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:56 AM

20. Why Not?

Its a discussion and a thought experiment...

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:06 AM

28. Yeah

"Why Not? Its a discussion and a thought experiment..."

...it's a thought experiment to focus on the RW meme that there are many teachers who should be fired. Not to worry, they're being laid off in droves.

Given that every state and school board is different, what's the other point?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:17 AM

35. The fact that every school board is different doesn't stop one from discussing the ideal solution.NT

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:31 AM

43. This

"The fact that every school board is different doesn't stop one from discussing the ideal solution."

...discussion makes no sense, and you make that case in not only the above response, but others. You...

in response to you answered your own question: "The point of the thread wasn't how it is done now...It was HOW it SHOULD be done."

in response to define "bad teachers": "It is rather subjective... I think that is best kept to local systems.. The majority of local schools (the administration, the teachers peers) know who the bad teachers are who don't care. "

in response to process already in place: Certainly...That doesn't meet the point of the thread. The point is a discussion of the ideal process to deal with it. The processes already in place might be a starting point or one might argue that the processes are ideal. However, stating that they are ALREADY IN PLACE" doesn't answer the question.

I mean, you're all over the place, declaring that it's a local issue that should be addressed at the local, that processes are in place, but that just because processes are in place across various states/school board that doesn't mean they're "ideal."

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:54 AM

17. The subject has merit...

 

... but I doubt you will get a legitimate conversation going here.

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Response to JSnuffy (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:20 AM

36. sad because it's true.

Some people have very strong opinions on the topic in general and it doesn't matter what the question actually is, they use the opportunity to re-state their opinion or to answer a question that is not being asked.

As seen from the responses already posted...

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Response to JSnuffy (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:21 AM

38. Perhaps the issue should be on how to hire them--not fire them.

And at this point-the only ones the districts want to hire are fresh out of college, willing to work 50-60 hours a week for 20K.

Yeah right. Who the hell is going to stay in education for that?

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:23 AM

39. That is one part of it...

But this is another part. What is wrong with asking this question? Nothing stops you from asking the other.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:32 AM

44. Nothing wrong with any question. But let's get real. You've changed the preface of your question.

You've changed/edited your post 6x. Imagine if you changed a lesson plan 6x in a classroom of kids? (which is sometimes the case on DU)

Hence, I rate your post performance as poor. Must be time for you to have a review and possibly to have a personal improvement plan if /when you are going to post on DU. There is an appeals process however, so you shouldn't be worried about re establishing your credibility if necessary. Nobody may want to enter your posts or forums and that will certainly diminish your effectiveness but that's the breaks ya' know. Its not like posting at DU is an entire career you have studied for, paid for and been found effective by the state in which you live for.

So no worries. Perhaps the media can define the hiring or firing of supposed derelict DU posters for you.....

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Response to MichiganVote (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 01:56 PM

75. +1 OH YEAH. I forgot. REALITY. We have to figure out a way to get rid of you, MV.

You're a BAD POSTER.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #75)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:31 PM

79. I am. Matter of fact I've been that way since I started.

But I just get ignored by some,and I think I like it that way. Afterall the people who are the smartie smartie's will just be clever no matter what I do and the dunderheads will just be dunderheads. For the posters with more potential, I say, let the brainiacs take care of them. They won't care if I don't chip in my fair share of battleing the ignorance of some of the morons who show up here. The really competent posters are just doing more with less from me. And now I get to sit on juries too!

I think its a win-win for everyone.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:26 AM

40. Where did you find the dull BS anyway? Did you just make it up?

This post sounds like a Tea Party sound bite.

WTF? "It is a difficult argument to make that every teacher in every public school is a teacher that performs at an acceptable level."

DEFINE "performs at an acceptable level"

WTF? "The limited number that are bad and kept is what the media picks up on." Show me one example please.

WTF? "With that thought in mind..." Why should we accept your silly premise? Because you said it?

Don't you realize that being a teacher is like other jobs? There already are processes for dealing with job performance issues just like in other professions.

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:29 AM

42. It IS a tea party soundbite

and OP has already conceded it is a local control issue and that processes for teacher evaluations are already in place. However, the continually shitfting sands of OP's argument seem to indicate a desire to get at something else that hasn't surfaced yet in the conversation..."unions are bad" perhaps?

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:35 AM

48. Wants to advance the non payment of teachers. Period.

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:54 AM

55. Local control is good...

However, why does that halt discussion on the process of firing teachers?

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:34 AM

47. It's

been an increasing phenonemon since the beginning of February. Check it. Was there a meeting?



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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:52 AM

54. So emotional...

DEFINE "performs at an acceptable level"


I would say that this is subjective and best determined at the local level. I would say unacceptable should be defined as "inability to educate students and inability to improve because of lack of motivation or lack ability." This is something a teacher peers and administrators will know more then anyone else. I am a fan of a 360 review system, in which teachers get feedback from their peers, administration and students.

WTF? "The limited number that are bad and kept is what the media picks up on." Show me one example please.


http://articles.latimes.com/2009/may/03/local/me-teachers3


Firing teachers can be a costly and tortuous task

...It's remarkably difficult to fire a tenured public school teacher in California, a Times investigation has found. The path can be laborious and labyrinthine, in some cases involving years of investigation, union grievances, administrative appeals, court challenges and re-hearings.

Not only is the process arduous, but some districts are particularly unsuccessful in navigating its complexities. The Los Angeles Unified School District sees the majority of its appealed dismissals overturned, and its administrators are far less likely even to try firing a tenured teacher than those in other districts.

The Times reviewed every case on record in the last 15 years in which a tenured employee was fired by a California school district and formally contested the decision before a review commission: 159 in all (not including about two dozen in which the records were destroyed). The newspaper also examined court and school district records and interviewed scores of people, including principals, teachers, union officials, district administrators, parents and students.

Among the findings:

* Building a case for dismissal is so time-consuming, costly and draining for principals and administrators that many say they don't make the effort except in the most egregious cases. The vast majority of firings stem from blatant misconduct, including sexual abuse, other immoral or illegal behavior, insubordination or repeated violation of rules such as showing up on time.

* Although districts generally press ahead with only the strongest cases, even these get knocked down more than a third of the time by the specially convened review panels, which have the discretion to restore teachers' jobs even when grounds for dismissal are proved.

* Jettisoning a teacher solely because he or she can't teach is rare. In 80% of the dismissals that were upheld, classroom performance was not even a factor.

When teaching is at issue, years of effort -- and thousands of dollars -- sometimes go into rehabilitating the teacher as students suffer. Over the three years before he was fired, one struggling math teacher in Stockton was observed 13 times by school officials, failed three year-end evaluations, was offered a more desirable assignment and joined a mentoring program as most of his ninth-grade students flunked his courses.


WTF? "With that thought in mind..." Why should we accept your silly premise? Because you said it?


It is a dissuasion board, isn't it?

Don't you realize that being a teacher is like other jobs? There already are processes for dealing with job performance issues just like in other professions.


Actually, jobs are wildly different in how they handle bad performers.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #54)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:09 AM

62. WTF? "inability to improve because of lack of motivation"

I'd like to see you insert that in a teacher's contract!!! Good luck convincing anyone that such a criteria can be used to fire an educator.

What are you planning, motivation testing of teachers?

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:33 AM

46. Public School Teachers and Administrators: How WE DO fire them!!!

Let's talk instead about all the teachers who have been fired for one reason only, no money to pay them!

How WE DO fire teachers today:

By shrinking education budgets 20-30 percent while throwing trillions at the defense industry to conduct illegal foreign wars!

SO, instead we should focus on how we hire back all the great teachers who have dedicated their lives to the future and, in return, are given a seat in the unemployment lines for their efforts and wise choice of a profession.

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Response to L. Coyote (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:07 AM

60. That is a problem..

And has to be thought about. We do fire them in blocks in times of budget problems. In general, time for being on the job is a bigger factor then actual performance.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:13 AM

64. WTF? "And has to be thought about..." NO, this has to be rectified

if ever the education system is to achieve the performance that is expected. While politicians say that achievement must improve by 20%, they defund by 30% at the same time. If we want to improve education, we not only need to restore all the lost teachers to the classrooms, we need to restore all the lost programs too, PLUS add a lot of personnel. You cannot improve education just by saying you want to do so, you actually need to apply human resources to the problem.

This thread seems totally oblivious to the real situation in education today.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:15 AM

66. Secretaries of Education: How Should We Fire Them?

Rod Paige, Margaret Spellings, Arne Duncan. Seriously, I mean, who in the world would hire them in the first place? Waiting for the president's term to end obviously does no good as it allows these losers to hang around for ages and do massive damage to public education on behalf of their corporate masters. How about yearly performance reviews by teachers and students and parents?

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Response to Karmadillo (Reply #66)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 12:10 PM

72. +1,000,000

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 12:58 PM

73. It's ALWAYS down to the administrators.

 

Good administrators can hire and fire competently within any system, even if it is inefficient and they don't like it. They are also competent to improve the system if it is a problem, and THAT, not managing day-to-day issues, is their REAL JOB.

Bad teachers who aren't supported and protected by administrators are rare, and don't last long. If you find a BUNCH of bad teachers in a school, you almost always find an administration dedicated to hiring them over others.

If the ADMINISTRATORS don't have the money to do THEIR job well, AND to support the teachers in doing THEIR jobs well, it is also part of their jobs, not teachers' jobs, to address THAT issue. They should NEVER be against teachers as a whole, or they are failing their primary responsibility, which is to do the administrative work to support the teachers in teaching. The school NEEDS teachers, it doesn't need administrators.

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Response to saras (Reply #73)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 01:56 PM

74. Systems affect the process...

Last edited Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:40 PM - Edit history (1)

If the system is set up like the LA county system, for example, that does have an affect on the process

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #74)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:34 PM

80. Actually the word you are looking for is 'affect', not effect.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:15 PM

77. The problem is in the question and defintions.

This is often the case.

How to fire bad teachers? The process is awkward and time consuming. And rare.

But, we object, since there's no way that 99% of those hired will be at least average, esp. since public school faculties pull disproportionately from the bottom 1/3 of college graduates, how can most teachers be acceptable? Don't we need a streamlined, efficient way of dealing with bad teachers? I mean, think of the kids? Something must be done and must be done now about all the bad teachers.

Well, that needs unpacking.

First, there's a huge washout rate in teacher certification programs. So the group isn't a random sample. They self-select, and then the certification program removes some inappropriate candidates. Student teaching programs have a notably high washout rate. But bad teachers get hired--and often drop. If you don't student teach, by the end of your second or third year, when you'd be up for tenure, you've had a drop-out rate as high as those who entered the student teaching program.

It's really unnerving to get up and teach what you don't know. It's even more unnerving to see low test scores come back from your students or to stand in the middle of an out of control classroom. Your psyche says to either run for the exit or the strychnine. And, if you don't, you often just don't get tenure.

So the question has to be, How is it possible that most of the tenured teachers do an acceptable job? Because 30+% of those entering the field drop out and a few percentage points more are never given tenure and are forced out. If "average" is 10-15 points of that magical 50% line, there's most of your answer.

But some bad teachers stay. They're hired by accident or out of need or whim. They're tough or stupid enough to not care that they're hurting students. Fire them? Probably not. In good districts they're trained and sent off to professional development. In some cases, it's decent PD. In others, not so decent. But content knowledge can be added if classroom management is there; classroom management isn't just a gift or talent but also a set of skills that can be taught to most people.

That leaves bad tenured teachers who slip through the cracks or who become bad teachers. Some get burned out and stop caring. Usually they leave soon thereafter. Some are assigned classes they have the certification to teach but that's 20 years old or marginal. They can learn or revert back to what they know. In some cases the demographics change, and a good teacher becomes bad because the students change. Such teachers usually leave; some are retrained.

In some schools the administrators have little choice. I know a school in a neighboring ISD that has a job opening. It's been open for 3 months. No applicants. The administrators are afraid that some other marginal teachers will leave because if they can't fill the current opening, how are they going to fill 4 or 5 openings? The response has been to crack down on the teachers and reorganize and rearrange them. Surprise! Mid-semester the bell schedule goes from 7 periods a day to a block schedule! At the semester break, students are all reshuffled to put more problem students in good teachers' classrooms, and then those teachers suddenly all want to leave.

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Response to Igel (Reply #77)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:36 PM

82. nooo! too much nuance...doesn't fit the narrative...

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Response to Igel (Reply #77)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 11:10 PM

97. Unpacking accomplished. +1 n/t

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Response to Igel (Reply #77)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 03:11 PM

104. Excellent post from someone who actually knows something.

More please.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:28 PM

78. It's pretty easy to find the flaws here

The concept of a poorly performing tenured teacher is a head scratcher in the first place. Most people generally don't become poor performers overnight. So the first question that should be asked is how and why did that teacher get tenure in the first place?

My experience as a union steward in dealing with management who wants to fire people runs very contrary to these claims. Generally it's the same story repeated over and over. Management wakes up one day and decides to fire whatever employee they happen to have a hard-on for. Then they wonder why they can't. They don't bother to actually read and understand the very processes that they created for firing someone. Many people in the workplace are going to simply do the minimum they have to do to get by. If management doesn't manage, you get a lot of people they call poor performers, but in reality these people are doing exactly what is expected of them, which is to say very little. When management raises expectations and actually starts managing employees, these same people start to perform better.

In my experience, most poorly performing employees are actually the result of poorly performing managers.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #78)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 03:36 PM

83. The system is what can produce both...

But the management of a school is essential. As is the management of a district.

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Response to BrentWil (Reply #83)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 04:13 PM

85. Poorly performing managers generally try to blame employees for their own failures

Saying the procedures used to terminate poorly performing teachers are too complicated is very dubious. For one thing, it's management's job to know and use those procedures. If they can't understand them, the question becomes why are they a manager in the first place? For another, those procedures are written by management. Even if they are contained within a union contract, management still had to agree to them.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 04:03 PM

84. A solution may be like what the National Hockey League did to introduce helmets.

With some modifications. Education classes in college should be as rigorous as engineering and pure science classes. Education colleges must not be places where less motivated students can go to get degreed. Poor thinkers must be weeded out at the collegiate level, hince the rigor of the training. During their last two years of college, potential teachers must train in the field that they will specialize in, with much emphasis placed on the method of teaching minds that information is 100% new to. Too often, even in college classes, people are set up to teach because of the expertise in the field, not because they are good at taking empty minds and filling those minds with expertise.

For teachers in the field, school districts should offer voluntary temination cash plans, with no reprocussions for applying and not being chosen. The plans must be financially enticing enough to get takers. And the plans must be open to everyone, even good teachers. There will be good teachers lost along with teachers that have lost their inspiration to teach, or who never had inspiration.

Pay for good teachers that stay in the system and high caliber teachers entering the profession must be higher than pay for high level government adminstrative staff, cops and firefighters. Good teachers should have pay incentives that encourage they to stay in the classroom as opposed to going into administration to earn more pay.

With high caliber, motivated teachers coming into the system and unmotivated teachers never getting into the system or being removed in a manner that allow them financial dignity, sustained improvement systemwide should happen.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #84)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 09:34 PM

93. Ok lets take your points 1 by 1

Education classes in college should be as rigorous as engineering and pure science classes. Education colleges must not be places where less motivated students can go to get degreed.

* What do you actually know about Teacher training programs? What do you know about Districts who accept Teacher interns? Think they take just anyone? Wrong. School district screen applicant interns the same way they screen potential employees. Unless its the Superintendent's kid that is. There is plenty of nepotism in education.


During their last two years of college, potential teachers must train in the field that they will specialize in, with much emphasis placed on the method of teaching minds that information is 100% new to.

* Ok, so essentially they should work for free for 2 years. Get real.

For teachers in the field, school districts should offer voluntary temination cash plans, with no reprocussions for applying and not being chosen.

* Districts in Michigan can barely afford the new and improved gas, tires, buses. Cash buy outs left a long time ago.

Pay for good teachers that stay in the system and high caliber teachers entering the profession must be higher than pay for high level government adminstrative staff, cops and firefighters. Good teachers should have pay incentives that encourage they to stay in the classroom as opposed to going into administration to earn more pay.

* Unless there is a Republican administration in town who is gutting public education, slicing apart the pension system and causing Teaching staff to pay over 20% for their health care costs EVEN THOUGH administration and the State Lesiglature do not.

With high caliber, motivated teachers coming into the system and unmotivated teachers never getting into the system or being removed in a manner that allow them financial dignity, sustained improvement systemwide should happen.

* Never happen. First, we already have high caliber motivated educators. But you don't seem to know that and frankly the public doesn't know that either because a public education system cannot compete with the disinformation of the Fox News mentality. To a man, or a woman, educators want out. Why? Because the compensation does not even come close to the needs they now have in their own lives. You know, those personal lives that Teachers do have. Kids, mortgage, car payments, savings for a pension that was promised and was bargained away by elites who can never have enough.
The public via the state legislators made a bargain with educators and haven't lived up to it.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:13 PM

101. I imagine if each teacher taught students that were motivated

I imagine if each teacher taught students that were motivated, willing, and backed by the support of the family, we would see a most drastic reduction in "poor performing" teachers.




One must ask themselves if they are looking at the cart, or the horse... and only then decide on the appropriate course, else any course of action would be predicated on bias-- however, I'm fairly confident that we believe we have already identified the valid and culpable culprit, and that neither horses nor carts are relevant at this point in our world-views.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:32 PM

103. I look forward to the day

when we will stop using the public schools and their teachers as scapegoats for all of society's ills.

To blame the "failure" of public education solely on teachers and administrators, and not on the fact that public education has been systematically demonized and starved of funding since the 80s, is a sentiment unworthy of Democratic Underground.

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Response to BrentWil (Original post)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 04:55 PM

106. Local control......

Yeah, that's the ticket.

I have seen what local control can do. It can almost take an area right back to the old one room schoolhouse. There are people who will never spend any money on education or they will try to channel it to charter schools and homeschoolers.

There has to be somebody watching what is going on and trying to hold schools and school districts accountable.

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